What happens when you pick at a wart?


Quick Answer

It is never recommended to pick at a wart, as it can cause the wart to spread to another part of the body and might also cause infection, according to MedlinePlus. Remove warts on the body using over-the-counter wart removal medicines. For warts on more sensitive areas like the face or genitals, visit a health car provider to have them removed.

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Full Answer

According to MedlinePlus, warts left alone resolve on their own in about two years. However, for cosmetic reasons or when they cause pain, it is best to have them removed. Removing warts also prevents their spreading to other parts of the body through contact. However, removing warts does not prevent them from reoccurring, sometimes even in the same location.

If warts do not go away using over-the-counter treatment, prescription medications or in-office removal are used. Difficult warts and those on the face can be removed by freezing, burning or laser treatment in a doctor's office. Genital warts are removed and treated with prescription medicine. Contact a doctor's office promptly if signs of infection, including red streaking, pus or fever, are present on or near a wart. Avoid contact with warts on the skin of others, keep warts covered with a bandage when possible, and wear socks and shoes in public places to prevent warts from spreading.

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